Many Jamaicans understand the value of education and see it as a one-way ticket out of poverty. Needless to say, there are multiple families that still struggle to find the money to pay for their children's uniforms. In this world of sadness and iniquity, poverty is a dark cloud hanging over the heads of many Jamaicans that never seems to go away. However, barreling through this cloud of darkness comes the stream of light and hope that is UniCyle.
Back to School time for semester two is almost here and many students, lamentably, still have only one set of uniforms. These uniforms have to be washed daily in order to have a clean uniform each day, and this hassle makes the academic life of many teens even more stressful than it already is.
With the hope of alleviating this problem affecting students island-wide, UniCycle collects khaki uniforms and donates them to less fortunate schools. This organization has been open for over a year now, helping so many different students to own khaki uniforms that they can wear to school.
Even more amazingly, the masterminds behind the running of this business are not established adults as many expect. Jordan Nakash and Rhys Greenland, the two individuals in charge of UniCycle are but mere two brilliant teenAGE students at Campion College with a desire to change an issue they see in their nation.
“Every year Campion sends out a Summer Newsletter in which they ask parents to donate gently used uniforms for the Guidance Department and Nurse's Station. Last year, however, they were full. So when my mom's friend called asking what she should do with her son's uniforms. I asked why don't we just collect the khaki uniforms and donate them to the less fortunate schools since, for the most part, khaki is an island wide used uniform for boys” founder Jordan Nakash said, explaining how the helpful organization came to fruition.
The inspirational teens give thanks to their mothers for being their biggest supporters. “They are behind us every step of the way and are always helping find ways to improve UniCycle and get the word out” said Jordan appreciatively.
With the help of their mothers, they created a company that has helped donate over 300 uniforms to students in only one year. UniCycle offers services to anyone in need of khaki uniforms. They have had parents contact them as well as many different schools asking to be on their donation list.
Even though they have been making a very visible impact in their communities, getting the word out about UniCycle has been their main obstacle.
With so many negative things occurring in Jamaica currently, it always feels like such a nice breath of fresh air when meeting such caring and giving teens like Jordan and Rhys. ”Participating in the uniform drive showed me that the power of a simple idea along with collective effort can truly lead to a unique and really positive outcome,” said Jordan reflecting on how Unicycle has impacted her.
If you would like to aid this initiative in giving back to our community, I implore you to donate to UniCycle. Khakis can be dropped off at Campion College's office or at any Fontana Pharmacy island wide.
As former president of the United States Obama said, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something…If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”